What is a turned wood burl?  In short, a burl is a tree knot.  From the outside, a burl often looks like a lumpy, knobby knot growing on the trunk or a branch of a tree. The rounded growth could be filled dormant buds or the result of an injury to the tree. The grain may appear deformed on the outside, but inside it can be quite beautiful when polished and finished by a skillful wood artist like Dave Kaufmann. Burls can form on any type of tree and each is unique, the shapes lending themselves to woodturning design.  

Burls can also be turned into various shapes and vessels, including vases, platters, pots, and decorative pieces. 

Examples of Burl Vases


Burl vase


Buckeye burl vase


aspen southwest vase with turquoise

Examples of Burl Bowls


Cherry Burl bowl with natural edge rim

Buckeye Burl bowl/vase natural edge rim and voids
Buckeye Burl bowl/vase natural edge rim and voids. Buckeye burl is found at the base of the tree, usually about 90 percent underground. It’s considered an expensive wood to mill, and becoming very rare. 8″ x 7″


Myrtle Burl Bowl,

Examples of Burl Pots


Southwest box elder burl


buckeye burl


Southwest box elder burl

Examples of Burl Decorative Pieces

1D-DK597  SOLD

fancy burl piece, standing


burl decorative piece



burl decorative wall piece


burl decorative wall piece

3D-DK765  SOLD

decorative piece with turquoise inlay

Burls can have smooth or natural edges, be flat or hollow, solid enough to hold water (Native Americans made burl water vases called an olla), or full of holes (like a sieve).  A finished piece turned from a burl can be left in a totally natural state or decorated with inlay and overlay and finished with trims like leather or feathers, or hand-painted or stained.  A burl is like a blank canvas. Dave is the artist who turns it into a masterpiece.  

To learn more about how I turn burl pieces, or to see more examples, call me or send me an email. I’ll be glad to give you a call back!

Phone: (970)238-0661 or (970)417-4649

Email: dmkaufmann@yahoo.com